Invalidation

My relationship with S recently ended. I know it’s for the better; we weren’t really good for each other, I guess. He invaldiated my feelings all the time or ignored them because he didn’t know how to deal with them. It was a storm-in-a-teacup relationship. We had amazing times and lots of fun, but then had some doozies too. I miss him and I did love him. But I’m trying not to focus on him or the memories…though I’ll never be able to listen to ‘Creep’ again and not think of him. He used to listen to it all the time; it was one of his favourite songs and he got me into some of Nirvana’s songs.

On to the theme for tonight: invalidation.

‘Normal’ people make me feel SO invalidated. I think that’s why I avoid guys and friends that are so ‘normal’ (ie. have a job, are married, have their shit together). Like, I know everyone has difficulties but I feel like people look at me and think I’m not even trying and that I’m just miserable by choice. It’s not true. But I feel SO invalidated by men, especially. Getting told ‘you’re too emotional, just chillax or be happy because life’s too short’.  I *DO* understand that people mean well…but it makes me feel like I’m not worthy of being around people like that. I think that’s why I cut myself off from people sometimes…because I feel like I’m just a downer. I’m so scared of how everyone is going to think of me that I don’t even know who I am or what I want anymore. It’s scary as hell because I’m way too old to be feeling like this.

Was I ever ‘normal’? Even as a teenager? I don’t know and all my thoughts get muddled with things that have been said to me over the years by my ex-stepfather (emotionally and verbally, sometimes physically abusive) and by my first adult ex-partner. So I get confused by what I’ve been told and by what the ‘truth’ is. Is it right that I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life because no one will ‘put up with me’? Or was that just something told to me because the person was cruel and trying to intimidate me into action. Am I ‘too emotional’? And how do you judge ‘too emotional’? Isn’t that subjective? When he (my friend today) said I was being too emotional, what he really meant was too emotional for him, right? Because given the situation (I was lying down, he was on top of me, I was prepared to let him have sex with me even though I didn’t want it), I think I’d say I have a right to feel emotional. Don’t get me wrong, when he realised that I wasn’t ‘into it’ he stopped and asked me if I wanted to stop and I managed to nod. But then he was like ‘you should just tell me you want me to stop. You have a choice, yes or no.’ and that makes sense! But in my head all I can think is ‘I did this to myself so I can’t say no, now, without looking like a tease or some girl who’s confused.

He did recognise that I was confused and he wanted me to talk to him. But how can you talk to someone when they think you’re being ‘too emotional’ and that you need to ‘chill out’.  Every word that I could have said after that would have seemed too dramatic or whatever for him. So I said it was okay. He asked if he’d done anything wrong. I said no. I felt SO guilty.

Should I have felt guilty? He assumed that he could come over to my house, things would be okay, and that we’d have sex, maybe? So why should I feel guilty for HIS assumption? I don’t know.  I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing on a daily basis and it’s a struggle. Yes, I know – I should be ‘happier’, ‘chill out’, ‘stress less’. Why can’t people just accept that this is who I am? I worry. I have anxiety. I have BPD. I’ve had shit happen that has made me think the way I do. You can’t just expect me to turn into someone I’m not. Or maybe you can only be loved if you have a perfect life? Like, why am I not worth loving because I have these issues?

 

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Life update!

I’m having a bit of a low period right now.

I’m unmotivated. My sleep habits are atrocious. I’m not writing as much as I should (especially since I’m in a Professional Writing course). I miss having DBT to keep me grounded. Today is R U OK? Day and I don’t feel okay.

I’m in a relationship – or am I? I’ve been seeing this guy and I really care about him but
things have happened between us that give me red flags.  My psychiatrist, my friends, and my family think that he’s bad for me and even I think he’s bad for me, sometimes. I’m just tired of trying with him. I feel like I do SO much. Fuck. It’s like that in every relationship that i’ve been in pretty much – I drain myself by giving too much. I need to take a break and just take care of me, I suppose.

A friend from DBT suggested I do pros and cons for seeing this guy. It’s a good idea. Idk. I feel so dead inside right now, so numb.

Things that are going well:

  • Still in my own house
  • Getting bills paid
  • I’ve managed to keep myself alive
  • I haven’t self-harmed
  • I’m less impulsive when I’m emotional

Positivity post!

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It’s typical of me to come and vent in here when I feel particularly upset or emotional, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But I thought I would post with some positive news today because I’m feeling upbeat!

Things I’ve done to build mastery:

  • Applied for houses
  • Taken the bus instead of asking my ex for rides (even to some not-so-close places)
  • Submitted forms to TAFE
  • Met some new people that could potentially be great friends
  • Avoided avoiding (getting out of my comfort zone a bit!)

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • TAFE starting again (beginning of August)
  • A new relationship 🙂
  • Writing opportunities
  • Evolving friendships
  • New experiences
  • HOPEFULLY a new place of my own 🙂

I feel so positive at the moment and I’d love to cling to this feeling but at the same time I have that ‘this isn’t going to last’ sensation. But I’m just trying to live in the present and not hold on to anything. I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

I hope everyone is doing well =3

Endings and Beginnings

It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog – sorry guys. I was busy with a relationship breakup and my studies and DBT and trying not go completely insane.

So, like I said, G and I broke up. At first, I wouldn’t accept it and i kept trying to hanging on to it. That’s the thing with not accepting something – it just prolongs the pain. Like we learned in DBT: Suffering = pain x acceptance. That is so true and it’s taken me a while to realise it. It was a hard few months and sometimes I have to turn my mind because I go back to thinking ‘what ifs’ but mostly, I’ve been pretty glad that I don’t have to stress about the relationship anymore. Let’s face it: I deserved better. He wasn’t paying me attention or giving me affection, he couldn’t deal with any of my mental illness symptoms, and he is pretty much a selfish person. Unfortunately, I am still living here at my ex’s until I find a place 😦 and I hate it, but I need to accept that as well.

I have applied for a few houses and was feeling pretty positive about this one that I applied for on Sunday, but my ex accidentally mentioned something about cats and also the agent told me the landlords are worried about me being able to afford the rent since I’m not working. I really wanted this place…I’ve mentioned that I can get rental assistance and given her some other referees to call, so *fingers crossed*.

I know I have to keep trying but sometimes it is hard. I feel so low on energy sometimes, mostly due to lack of sleep. I’m trying to build my mastery though. Keep on practising the skills that I need to build up so that I’ll be stronger.

In exciting news, I’m getting a poem published in July! It’s a local magazine xoand I’m stoked. It’ll be my first published work. I really enjoyed my poetry course that I took last semester and I wish it was ongoing but I will keep writing. 🙂

Anyway, just wanted to update. I hope you are all well!

xo

Where the Devil don’t go

So I don’t know. I’m crazy, right?

To want a stable relationship when I have BPD and my boyfriend has his own issues which include intimacy and avoiding emotions at all cost.

I have been waiting. Waiting for him to find me attractive enough to have sex with me again (I’m no super model but I’m not ugly, either. I know that when I put an effort into my appearance I can look pretty). He has issues with himself, which is all well and good but I need sex and intimacy.

I really love him and thinking about life without him sucks. It hurts more than I can imagine. But I always want to be with someone who is emotionally available, can communicate, and wants to be intimate and affectionate. He’s as cold as a dead fish at the moment. He blames it on my emotions. But I wouldn’t be half as upset if he just cuddled me or kissed me or we had makeout sessions once in a while.

I’ve tried numerous times to talk to him but get nowhere but I’m stupid enough (*ding ding* judgement bell) to try again and again to talk to him.

Today I took myself off for a pedicure and it felt like HEAVEN.  I wanted to steal the vibrating massage chair and take it home with me. I concentrated on feeling good and not on the emotional turmoil that was trying to take over my mind.

I hate that my relationship is shit and because I’m the one diagnosed with something, every problem becomes my fault.

DBT – Week 4 Distress Tolerance

I want to say something to those of you who haven’t done DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) before. You may feel anxious about it or feel that it won’t work for you. It was specifically created by Marsha Linehan for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it has been known to help those with other severe mental illnesses. Actually, I think the average person would probably benefit from doing a course of DBT – it certainly wouldn’t hurt!

Yesterday was my fourth group session (I have done DBT two or three times before and each time I discover something new and develop better living habits). I wish I could carry the feeling I get from being in a DBT session with me all the time.I feel that I am not judged and that my flaws and mistakes are accepted. It feels wonderful to be in an environment where you know others support you and they can understand what you’re saying because they’ve been in similar situations and experience similar emotions and distress. This is not to say that I would want anyone to suffer from BPD, but it helps to know there are others who feel the same and are hurting, too. The sense of peace I get from my group sessions is undeniable. I feel more comfortable there than I do anywhere else, even though we’re discussing nitty gritty subjects sometimes and it can be hard to tolerate.

The past two weeks we’ve been doing distress tolerance, which is extremely helpful, if you practice and use the skills. Last time I did DBT, I got really disheartened when it ended and I just thought I’m alone now so why bother? I kind of gave up practising those skills and that’s not a good thing. You need to continually practise them until they become entrenched in you like a daily habit. If you only do the skill once, it most likely isn’t going to stick. It also helps if you have an open mind – Okay, it might not work for you the first few times, but on the 8th you might find something clicks, or maybe there is another skill that works better for you. You just have to experiment until you find your own list of skills that will help you cope.

As we’ve been told, distress tolerance is not about reducing your suffering (although the skills sometimes DO end up doing that, which is a bonus), but it is about getting through the tough times without making things worse.

I’ve been going through an extremely isolated and rough patch with my boyfriend lately and last night I got upset and he told me to ‘stop it’. Well, even though I didn’t enjoy the way he said that to me, it made me think of the ‘TIP‘ skills and I went to the freezer and got an ice pack, wrapped it in a paper towel and held it to my eyes and cheeks, holding my breath for thirty seconds. I did this a few times until I felt calmer.  It didn’t make my sadness go away but it made that moment bearable and eventually I was able to get to sleep without causing further problems with my boyfriend.

I also did intense exercise last night to calm myself down and it worked well. Obviously, you might have some days where the skills don’t seem to work as well. Keep trying those other skills til you find yourself being able to cope! I know it is easier said than done, but when you get through those tough times without engaging in self-destructive behaviour it makes you feel so much better long-term!

‘You’re not alone’ (yes, I am)

I really don’t appreciate how often that sentence comes up when I’m mentally ill, because yes, I am alone. In the end, it’s me that suffers, me that is diagnosed, and me that ends up shutting people out because they can’t deal with my ‘mental illness’.

One of the focuses for positive mental health is having a support network – your family, friends, psychiatrist, classmates, co-workers, whatever. Having people there that you can talk to when you’re struggling, and knowing that those people won’t judge you or make you feel worse, is crucial.

What about people without good support networks?

My family live overseas. I have two close friends but they also live overseas. I have a couple of friends here but I don’t feel close enough to them to trust them or burden them with my crap. My boyfriend has a mental illness (depression) as well so he has a hard time being there for me without getting burnt out.

 

My boyfriend asks me how I feel, but sometimes I know he really doesn’t want to know, so try to say ‘Nothing is wrong’ but he can feel that there is and he tries to dig it out of me. Meanwhile, I’m trying (FOR HIS SAKE) not to burden him with my stressors, because a lot of the time I know he thinks they’re pathetic (for instance – getting upset that he isn’t my friend on FB, but he’s friends with one of my friends that he claims not to like – he thinks that is ridiculous. It might be! It might be miniscule! But it HURTS me).

So, if I do end up telling him what’s wrong, he either misunderstands, gets mad, or walks away from me.

Two things I can’t stand more than anything:

  • being ignored
  • people walking away from me when I’m talking

I can understand now why people face things alone: not because they want to, but because when they get rejected, shut down, or invalidated, it hurts worse than keeping the thoughts to themselves.

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